I visited a client recently and had a fascinating conversation around how they are using a Wiki as an editorial tool. To set the stage, this was a manufacturing company who has a technical publications department responsible for all product documentation. Their engineering department is responsible for creating the majority of the content they publish with the goal of quickly publishing content to their clients and partners. The technical publications department is responsible for publishing quality publications that follow standard formats and along a defined publications schedule. Can you see where this is going?
On one side you have an engineering team who has a vehicle for creating and publishing content to their product portals quickly using a Wiki. On the other side is the technical publications department who has a publications process using a CMS to create content according to content standards and timelines. Engineering desires to have the flexibility to publish content at any time to the partners who need the content. Speed to market versus content accuracy and presentation.
It was clear from the conversation that the Wiki approach to content development was causing stress among the technical publications group, and rightly so! The technical publications group is all for embracing new technology, but I'm not sure the business rules around the Wiki developed content were fully explained to either side. Which organization has the repository of record? Who is ultimately responsible for the quality of content. Along with quality, who is responsible for any liability issues that arise?
I'm sure over time a Wiki strategy will be defined and the business rules for incorporating content into the traditional CMS environment will be worked out. In the meantime it would be interesting to hear how others have embraced Wiki technology in the traditional CMS environment.